Background: Cosmetic products are not tested with the same rigour as medical treatments, but recent high-quality studies have shown significant reductions in changes of skin ageing with use of cosmetic antiageing products.
Aim: To test whether a cosmetic 'anti-spot' two-step treatment containing a complex of seaweed-derived oligosaccharide and zinc would produce a significant improvement in mild acne.
Methods: A double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial of this treatment was performed for 8 weeks on 60 age-matched participants with mild acne. They were divided into two groups: 30 participants were treated with vehicle control and 30 with the active treatment containing a seaweed-derived oligosaccharide complexed with 0.1% zinc pyrrolidone.
Results: After 8 weeks, both groups had a reduction in comedones, papules and pustules, and this was significantly greater in the active than control group at 2, 4 and 8 weeks.
Conclusions: Cosmetic products may offer some benefit for mild acne and still meet the requirements of the European Cosmetic Directive. In particular, the seaweed-derived oligosaccharide complexed with 0.1% zinc pyrrolidone used in this study produced a significant reduction in acne vs. a control treatment. Cosmetic companies should conduct blinded controlled trials of their product's efficacy and publish the results.
© The Author(s). CED © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.